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What’s the differences between contemporary and traditional style?

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One of the biggest differences between contemporary and traditional style is the use of colours. Unlike the traditional one which uses warm and bright colours on a large scale, (like most of the old estates which use bright window treatments, floral printed wallpapers), contemporary style uses lots of neutrals or cool tone colours. For examples, in traditional style, you may see large estate use natural dark wood for their beds, side boards, door frames, architraves, skirting boards like walnut, cherry, sapele or other warm red wood. The usage of oak timber is a fairly modern thing. And for contemporary, off colour white, grey, black are widely used. However that’s not to say bright colours will never be used in this style. Interior designers may use bright colour for a feature wall, but everywhere else will be very cool tone bases.


The other big difference is line. In traditional style, there will be more curves, like the legs of the table or chairs, will be shaped in an artistic curly way. Curved detailed profiles of skirting boards like Victorian, Buckingham, Royal etc are chosen to fit the scene too. Whereas in temporary, the shapes are very much like blocks or other straight line geometric shapes. Square coffee tables, simple shaped sofa are used to create stability. Skirting boards on the walls are more bulky, bold and simple design, like Square Edge, Modern. Sometimes, architects like to create a few straight lines cross the square edge skirting boards like Ribbed or any Rebated design to create more texture on the wall, as most of the wall or art on the wall would be quite bare. Architraves don’t necessarily need to match with the skirting boards in terms of the profile design, as long as the architrave is equally bulky, bold with straight lines. Traditional skirting board usually offer cable rebate at the back of the boards, but for contemporary, it is totally fine to just expose any pipes or cables if security permitted. So, the style overall is quite effortless, casual, although bold in colour and shapes.